mikeinsc's Injustice: Gods Among Us (Xbox 360) review

Outstanding Netherrealm Effort

I won't lie --- the demo of this game had me worried. The demo had me feeling this game seemed dumb down, lacking in moves, and just not that enjoyable a title. I strongly considered eliminating my preorder out of sheer concern about this title's quality or possible lackthereof.

I am thrilled I didn't end it, because the game is outstanding. A great shooter, completely different than Capcom fighters but definitely feeling like a Mortal Kombat game. The change of pace from the games of the other major fighting game developer is greatly appreciated.

Injustice has you fighting through parallel dimensions after the Joker goes all Kim Jong Un on Metropolis, nuking the heck out of the place. This opens up parallel dimensions that you must fight through, switching "sides" (with "sides" being an increasingly fluid concept as you have to deal with evil Green Lantern and others). You go through about 10 chapters, controlling different characters. The biggest change is the lack of "rounds" in each fight. All characters have 2 life bars and once the first one is depleted, there is a small pause before the fight resumes. The special moves are wonderfully over-the-top and while they lack the gore of MK, they are more fun to watch and, admittedly, really easy to pull off.

There really aren't a lot of combos (less than 20 hit combos, which is a huge change from, say, Marvel fighters), but the combos that are there look great, are damaging, and do require decent timing to execute.

Of course, with Netherrealm, the story mode is a tiny sliver of the action. Battles modes allows you to fight a ladder of enemies with ever-changing rules for the fights. You can do S.T.A.R missions to pull off certain criteria in fights. The levels themselves are also worthy of notion, as they are quite interactive with numerous things to smack your opponent around with. The multiplayer mode is decent, but I am not that good at the game and, therefore, don't play it a hell of a lot. Cutscenes look amazing and the storyline makes as much sense as any comic book or fighting game has ever pulled off.

The negatives? Well, it loads a lot and takes a long time to do so. Also, difficulty spikes oddly. You will be going through some fights and doing well --- then, suddenly, have an opponent kick the living crap out of you. You rematch and proceed to obliterate them. The curve just seems to be a bit off.

This is the fighting game of the year. Something MIGHT be able to top it, but I do not see it happening. The depth of the game is easy to miss as you can have a lot of fun just button mashing, but with some work in the practice mode, you will see that there is actually a wealth of depth to this soiree. Well worth the money.

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